Colorful retro poster in photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create retro-style wallpapers using textures, highlights and bright colors. Have a nice time!

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Create a new document 1920 x1200 px, standard sizes for HD wallpapers. Fill it with black.

Step 2

Open the image of the Mountain, select any part of the clouds that you like or you can choose another image with clouds that you would like to use when creating your own wallpaper.

Step 3

Copy the selected image of the clouds, and then paste the copied image into our working paper.

Step 4

Next, go Image – Correction – Exposure (Image-Adjustments – Exposure) and slightly decrease the value Exposure (Exposure), as well as the value Shear (Offset) and slightly increase the value. Gamma Corrections (Gamma). This action will create a little contrast and also darken your image.

Exposure (Exposure) – 0.84
Shear (Offset) -0.1122
Gamma Corrections (Gamma) 0.78

Step 5

Create a new layer. Next, with the tool Rectangular area (rectangle marquee tool), create a rectangular selection. Fill the selection with white color.

Step 6

Duplicate the white rectangle layer repeatedly, and then reduce the opacity of the duplicate layers, varying the opacity. The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 7

After you duplicate a rectangle layer 10-20 times, varying the opacity of each duplicate layer, group all the layers into one group (Ctrl + G), and then just duplicate the group a couple of times to save time. Arrange the groups with rectangles in random order. This step is applied purely to save your time, but if you want to get a unique drawing, then it will take you more time to do it.

Step 8

Once you are satisfied with the created rectangular shape, group all groups with rectangles into one group so that you can apply the transformation (Ctrl + T). Rotate the created shape by 45 degrees, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

The design we are going to create is the “V” shape, so you need to select half of the document (the opposite side of the expanded rectangle), and then add a layer mask. Using a layer mask, we will hide the part that is not selected. Next, being on the layer layer mask, press Ctrl + I to invert. You could do the same thing by selecting the part you want to save and then adding a layer mask to get the exact same result.

Step 10

Next, you can either rotate the rectangle in such a way that the half of the “V” figure is obtained, or you can create a diagonal selection and hide the desired area using a layer mask, so that you have a figure like the screenshot below. And then, while on the layer mask, you can do an inversion and further editing. Just remember that the white area will appear, and the black area will be invisible.

Step 11

As soon as you have finished working with layer-masks, we continue on. Duplicate the group, and then activate the transformation (Ctrl + T) and apply the option Flip horizontally (Flip horizontal). The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 12

We come to an important point. Your layers in the layers palette should look like the screenshot below. Now, to save space and memory on your computer, as well as to keep your computer from being overloaded with the weight of your documents in Photoshop, you can duplicate this layer with a group by creating a copy. Then, turn off the visibility of the layer with the group (in the layers palette … .. the visibility shutdown button looks like an eye … .. just click on it), and then rasterize a copy of the layer.

Step 13

Now double click on the rasterized layer to make the window appear. Layer styles (Layer Styles) and select the option Gradient overlay (Gradient). Set the Rainbow gradient or you can choose the colors and the arrangement of shades at your discretion.

Gradient style – linear
Normal mode
Inversion- put a tick
Align to layer – tick
100% Opacity
90 angle

Step 14

Once you have applied the option Gradient overlay (Gradient), next, duplicate the layer with the layer styles and slightly duplicate the duplicate down.

Step 15

Now duplicate the layer that you just shifted down (for now, you will have 3 layers with the “V” shape). For this duplicate layer, change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light). Some areas have become more illuminated.

Step 16

Duplicate the topmost layer, the blending mode of which you changed to Soft light (Soft Light). Clear Layer styles (Layer Style) to make the figure white. Change the blending mode to duplicate this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge) or To add (Add). Now the figure should become more illuminated.

Step 17

The lighting effect turned out to be too saturated, so we need to slightly muffle it. To do this, add a layer mask to the layer with the blend mode Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge) or To add (Add) that you created in the previous step. You can add a layer mask by clicking the corresponding button in the bottom toolbar. Choose a soft brush with low opacity, perhaps around 25% and using this brush, paint over the strokes as shown in the screenshot below. Thus, the lighting effect began to look more arbitrary.

Step 18

So, we muted a little lighting effects, the result should be as in the screenshot below. The arrangement of the lighting effects turned out to be arbitrary; it is necessary to make it look like shine and reflection of light. The gloss effect is a standard retro style effect.

Step 19

Duplicate layer overlay Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge) or To add (Add), change the blending mode for this duplicate layer to Overlap (Overlay). So invert the colors from white to black. We will give the figure a color contrast due to the shadows, and not due to lighting effects.

Step 20

Once again duplicate the top layer with the “V” figure. Change the blending mode for this duplicate layer to Normal (Normal). Reduce the layer opacity to 50% or something like that.

Step 21

Duplicate the top layer again, save the blend mode for this duplicate layer. Normal (Normal) layer opacity set to 100%. Do not be alarmed if at this moment, some areas of our figure disappear behind black, the disappearing color lines appear in the following steps.

But: if at the moment the whole image has become dark, then this is a problem, therefore, you will have to play with black scrapping with the “V” figure so that you can see the colored layers with the “V” figure located below this layer.

Step 22

So, it’s time to add light highlights … .. yet one distinctive feature of retro style. Create a new layer on top of all layers, fill it with solid black color. Next, select the Light Glare brush, set the appropriate size and use this brush to draw the light glare over the “V” shape. Next, we will create additional light highlights, which will be placed over our entire created figure.

Step 23

Create a new layer. Choose a tool Rectangular area (Marquee tool) and with this tool, select the bottom half of the painted flare (no matter which part you select, the top or bottom). We are going to draw a flash of light.

Step 24

Choose a large soft white brush, the brush size should not be larger than a rectangular selection. Draw a half of the flare, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 25

Then, using transformation (Ctrl + T), rotate the light flash by -45 degrees or rotate as you like most.

Step 26

Merge the original layer with the light flare and the layer with the light flash. Thus, we get the original light flare, which can be moved and adjusted.

Step 27

Next, change the blending mode for the layer with the light flare to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge) or To add (Add). Glare looks saturated and bright, this is what we need.

Step 28

Duplicate the layer with the light flare as many times as necessary to obtain a sufficient number of light flares located on top of our figure. Apply scaling to some highlights to create diversity. Once you have created the required number of highlights, group all the layers with highlights into one group, so it will be easier for you to edit them if necessary.

Step 29

Open the Paper texture, create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below. We use this texture as a vintage texture, you can choose other textures with a “touch of antiquity” or use grunge textures.

Step 30

Copy and paste the selected part of the texture onto our working paper, placing the texture layer on top of the other layers. Using color correction, reduce texture saturation. In large, we do not use this texture for color, however, light shades of yellow / orange color will complement the retro style and give the image “antiquity”.

Step 31

Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Soft light (Soft Light), and slightly reduce the layer opacity to 75% or something like that.

Step 32

Now fully highlight the “V” shape. To create a selection, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the shape layer.

Step 33

Now, while holding the Alt key + rectangular selection, subtract half of the active selection. You will only have half of the “V” shape selected.

Step 34

Select the gradient tool, the color gradient from white to transparent. Apply a gradient tool within the selected area.

Step 35

Change the blending mode for the gradient layer to Soft light (Soft Light), reduce the layer opacity to about 75%.

Step 36

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Choose a large soft black brush. Next, using this brush, paint over the top corners of our “V” shape. If necessary, you can apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur), however, this will depend on the size of the brush you choose, so you can apply a blur, and you probably don’t need to.

Step 37

Create a new adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) on top of all other layers. You can activate this adjustment layer through the bottom toolbar or go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer – New Adjustment layer). Move a little black slider and a white slider, and then play with the gray tint slider until you get a beautiful picture. The screenshot below shows the values ​​that I applied in my work. With this correction, we will add contrast to our image.

Step 38

Your wallpaper should look like the screenshot below. If you are not satisfied with the degree of saturation, then play with the adjustment layer Levels (Levels) until you are satisfied with the final result.

Step 39

Now, you can sign a wallpaper or add a phrase or text below our “V” shape at the bottom of the composition.

Final result

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